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A Disgraceful Instance of Orwellian Newspeak

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

F.D.A. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg writes that “Despite common criticisms that our agency impedes innovation by being slow and bureaucratic, we actually play a proactive role in promoting innovation by ushering new products through the approval process and to market – while making sure they meet the standards of safety and effectiveness that have served the American people well” (“America’s Innovation Agency: The FDA,” August 1).

Orwell would be impressed.

For an F.D.A. commissioner to brag about that agency’s “proactive role” in “ushering new products through the approval process and to market” is like an armed troll who, having seized a bridge in order to extract tribute from all who seek to cross, brags that he plays a “proactive role” in seeing people safely to the other side of the river.

And just as that troll has no business second-guessing the reasons that inspire people to seek to cross the bridge, the F.D.A. has no business second-guessing the risks that each American chooses to bear when deciding which foods and medicines to ingest.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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